Weapons of Grass Construction – (DePue Bros. Band)
Eclectic array of music featuring virtuosic fiddling from the infamous family band, The DePue Brothers.
Reviewed in the United States on March 29, 2010
I first spotted the four DePue brothers (originally from down south, but now living in Philadelphia, PA area) at the Arts Presenters conference earlier this year. They only had 20 minutes to perform their showcase and they used every minute of it to wow the audience. I had to hear more, and this led me to this CD, with its tongue-in-cheek title. They are trying to reconstruct and re-imaging the traditional bluegrass band.
The four brothers have what must be the highest musical credentials of any acoustic folk/bluegrass/Americana band. All are classically trained musicians and their “day jobs” are as orchestra members. Jason is First Violinist in the Philadelphia Orchestra; Zach was the First Violinist there. Wallace works with opera companies and Alex wins fiddling contests and plays with rock bands.
The album shows the variety of their playing styles with each getting appropriate solos. The music ranges from standard bluegrass (“Orange Blossom Special”) to new takes on the classics (“Dance of the Goblins”; Leroy Anderson’s “Fiddle Faddle”) to self-penned numbers. Banjo wizard Tony Trischka joins the guys for a few numbers.
Instrumentally these guys are a five star band.
I’d love to see them play a full concert live but – with their Orchestra and other commitments – that doesn’t happen often. So I’m glad they released this CD and, hopefully, the follow-up will come shortly.Steve Ramm
DePue Brothers Band – Full Album